HomeNews AlertCaritas Philippines relaunches complaint mechanism during pandemic

Caritas Philippines relaunches complaint mechanism during pandemic

The social action arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines has relaunched its hotline to receive reports of abuse, discrimination, and sexual exploitation.

Caritas Philippines urged victims or those who have information about any form of abuse committed by any member of the Church’s social action ministry to use the hotline.

Jeanie Curiano, head of the Humanitarian department of Caritas Philippines, said the complaint and feedback mechanism “has to be re-introduced” especially during the pandemic.

She said there is a need for an alternative mechanism “when face-to-face interaction with the community is very limited.”

“We want to make sure that no one within our ranks commits abuse or asks personal favors in exchange for our services and aid,” she told LiCAS.news.

Curiano reminded the public that all forms of assistance provided by Caritas Philippines and other local Caritas organizations are free.

“Exchange of favors like goods, sex, money, or employment is prohibited,” she said.

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“We also encourage everyone who experiences discrimination because of your faith, race, political beliefs, or gender to report to us,” said Curiano.

She said the organization does not condone “inappropriate behavior, exploitation, abuse, and corruption by our staff, volunteers, or partners.”

All complaints and feedback will be dealt with confidentiality, she said, adding that Caritas Philippines has zero-tolerance against any form of abuse.

The hotline is also open for reports of domestic abuse “but we will serve as a referral body and endorse the victim to the proper government agencies.

Jing Rey Henderson, communications officer of Caritas Philippines, said the hotline was first used during the humanitarian response for Typhoon Haiyan victims in 2013.

She said the National Secretariat for Social Action is relaunching the hotline because of some “unverified reports of sexual abuses and exploitation” from the ground.

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